The Office for Children, Youth and Family Support (Office) is an administrative unit of the Community Services Directorate.
The Office works in partnership with the community to provide care and protection services to children and young people, and family and community support to meet the needs of the people of Canberra. In addition, the Office is responsible for youth justice services and the monitoring and licensing of children's services.
The Office aims to provide both universal and targeted programs and services at the prevention, early intervention and tertiary levels in a range of settings that support children, young people and families to reach their potential and that contributes to building community capacity. The Office is also committed to the involvement of children and young people in a meaningful way in decision making about their lives.
Some of Labor's achievements during 2009-2010 include:
- In June 2010 the refreshed ACT Children’s Plan was launched after an extensive review and consultation. The refreshed Plan articulates;
- the vision and building blocks for a child-friendly city;
- a review of achievements and changes since 2004.
- In December 2009, a new Young People’s Plan 2009-2014 was released, incorporating 166 actions across five priorities:
- health, wellbeing and support;
- families and communities;
- participation and access;
- transitions and pathways; and
- environment and sustainability.
- The Ginninderra 8 (G8) Project, which commenced in March 2009, is a partnership between the schools of the Ginninderra Cluster, Community Partners, Care and Protection Services and other areas within the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support. The purpose of the project is to ensure that all systems work cooperatively to improve the educational experience and social outcomes of children and young people. The success of the G8 has led to the Project’s expansion to 22 schools in the Tuggeranong area.
- Recurrent funding of $20 000 per annum has been provided to the support the Youth Advisory Council to consult widely with the community and ensure that the views of Young People are reflected in the Government’s considerations.
- Childcare is a priority for the ACT Government. Major investments have been made to childcare centres at Flynn, Spence and through the Community Support and Infrastructure Grants, and planning has been developed for new centres in areas of demand.
- During 2009-10, the ACT participated in work on the COAG National Early Childhood Reform Agenda, which is delivering universal access to preschool for four-year-olds and a national uniform system of childcare accreditation and regulation.
- The human rights compliant Bimberi Youth Justice Facility became fully operational in December 2008, and the Government has sought to enhance the centre’s rehabilitation goals by providing a living skills program and other vocational training.
- The ACT Government has engaged in consultation with the community through discussion papers and forums regarding transitions from youth justice and diversionary measures.
- In November 2009, The ACT Government launched the Charter of Rights for Children in Out of Home Care which ensures that all children and young people in out of home care, no matter what their circumstances, have the same rights and opportunities as all ACT children.
- The ACT Government has funded the growth in the cost of children and young people in out of home care in two successive budgets in 2009 and 2010 and invested in early intervention measures through the child and family centres in Tuggeranong and Gungahlin.
- In March 2010, construction of the West Belconnen Child and Family Centre commenced. The Federal Government has contributed more than $8 million through the Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership for a Centre focusing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. The Centre is scheduled for completion in coming months.
- In 2009, the ACT Government endorsed the first National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020. In partnership with all States and Territories, the Government is now working to implement the Framework’s supporting strategies.
- In September 2010 the Foster Care and Kinship Carers Guide was launched supporting carers to navigate the service system access support.
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Reporting Child Abuse
Care and Protection Services
Child and Family Centres
Child Safe Organisations
Children's Policy and Regulation
Community Youth Justice
Early Intervention and Prevention Unit
Family Engagement Unit
Integrated Court Services
Integrated Family Support Project
Parents as Teachers
Bimberi Youth Justice Centre
Schools as Communities
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services